Sentencing for sex offenders can vary widely – those incarcerated for Felony I rape in 2004, for example, were sentenced to an average of 11.4 years, while the most serious convictions can lead to life sentences. And since Ohio adopted The Adam Walsh Child Protection Act in 2008, it’s clear that for the more than 19,000 Ohioans currently listed as sex offenders, the end of incarceration doesn’t mean the end of their sentence.
Those accused of a sex offense must understand what they may be facing. They should exercise their rights while they still can – including their right to remain silent, and their right to an attorney – because conviction on a sex offense can affect them, quite literally, for the rest of their lives.
Once they are released from prison, sex offenders will have their names, addresses, photos and offenses publicized for all to see. They will be prohibited from living within 1000 feet of schools, preschools and day care centers – so family homes may be off limits. And they will be required to regularly report the details of their lives to the sheriffs of the counties where they live, work and/or go to school:
Adults convicted of major offenses such as rape and sexual battery – known as Tier III offenders – must report every 90 days for the rest of their lives. The county sheriff must notify all residents within 1000 feet of the offender’s home. Any time a Tier III sex offender moves, all schools, registered day-care providers, and other law enforcement agencies must also be notified.
Adults convicted of offenses such as compelling prostitution and pandering sexually oriented material involving a minor – known as Tier II offenders – must report every 180 days for 25 years.
Adult Tier I offenders – convicted of offenses such as sexual imposition and voyeurism – must register once a year for 15 years.
Offenders who fail to register as required can face additional felony charges.